Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Madoffs to lose assets

Madoff's New York's Long Island home with Madoff (inset) -- PHOTOS: REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

NEW YORK - US prosecutors want swindler Bernard Madoff and his wife Ruth to forfeit more than US$100 million (S$154 million) worth of homes, cars, boats, securities, silverware and a piano following his March 12 guilty plea, according to court papers.

Homes in Manhattan, Palm Beach, Florida, Cap d'Antibes, France and on New York's Long Island, valued at a total of US$22 million, US$17 million in a bank account and at least US$45 million in COHMAD Securities Corp, a brokerage part-owned by Bernard Madoff, are on the government's list seen on Monday.

The 70-year-old Madoff, a former Nasdaq stock market chairman, was jailed Thursday after a dramatic courtroom guilty plea in Manhattan federal court to running the biggest investment fraud in Wall Street history that drew in as much as US$65 billion over 20 years.

His sentencing on 11 criminal charges is scheduled for June 16, when he could be imprisoned for the rest of his life.

Separately, the court-appointed trustee winding down the firm, Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, said he would need a lawyer to track down assets in Gibraltar.

The US government's 'notice of intent to seek forfeiture of certain assets' also cites a Cayman Islands company called Yacht Bull Corp, three boats valued at more than US$10 million, four cars, US$65,000 in silverware and a Steinway piano worth US$39,000.

In a court filing in early March, the Madoffs' lawyers said US$69 million in property and accounts belonged to Ruth Madoff and was unrelated to the fraud.

For each of the properties, the government notice said 'all insured and readily salable personal property contained therein' were included as items subject to forfeiture.

Ruth Madoff's lawyer, Peter Chavkin, declined to comment on the government's notice. Bernard Madoff's lawyers were not immediately available to comment.

In court papers on Friday, lawyers for Bernard Madoff argued for his release pending sentencing. A list of assets filed with the appeal put the net worth of Madoff and his wife between US$823 million and US$826 million. -- REUTERS

No comments: